Eddie Howe drops Newcastle United transfer hint after Liverpool, Man Utd & Arsenal 'advantage' fear
On Tuesday, English top-flight clubs voted on whether to block loan signings between clubs with the same owners. It is understood 12 clubs, including Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, voted in favour, while Newcastle, Manchester City and Chelsea were among the eight teams who voted against.
The motion failed by two votes, meaning the Magpies are free to trade with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia-backed clubs Al Hilal, Al Ittihad, Al Ahli and Al Nassr, who signed the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Sadio Mane, Karim Benzema and Ruben Neves in the summer.
But by the same token, a number of English club owners have interests in other teams, as Howe was keen to point out.
For example, Man City's City Football Group own 13 clubs in total. Chelsea are in a multi-club model with Strasbourg, while Brighton and Hove Albion have done business with Belgian side Union Saint-Gilloise, with both clubs owned by Tony Bloom.
"You say Newcastle's favour, it was a Premier League vote, we're not the only club involved in that vote," Howe, speaking ahead of Saturday's game at home to Chelsea, said. "I think the majority of clubs in the Premier League own other clubs around the world, so it's not solely on us, I don't think.
"Newcastle as a club had a view. We voted our way in the way we're allowed to and the vote came out on the side that it did.
"I think it's the same for everybody. I understand the focus being solely on us, but it's not solely on us. This is a vote for all Premier League clubs. We'll be potentially allowed to recruit from a league, just like every Premier League club can as well.
"There's no advantage in my eyes. We're the same as every other Premier League club.
"Just from my dealings with it, we're very relaxed on it. It's not the be-all and end-all for us. We've got a squad we really like. If we can get players fit before January, the need to recruit will become much less intense for us."
Neves, who joined Al Hilal from Wolves for £47million six months ago, has been frequently linked with a move to St James' Park. Despite all the noise, there is no guarantee that Newcastle will turn to the Saudi market amid their current injury list.
Asked if he is prepared to sign players from Saudi Arabia, Howe replied: “It’s not even in our thoughts at this moment in time. As I said, at the start of the season, January was not a window that we were looking to invest in.
"It would only be a reaction to the injuries that we have and whether we need to recruit because the majority of our players would be back in January, at this moment in time we don’t know.”
Howe says Newcastle are going to be "reactive" during the winter window and confirmed a decision on what positions they'll look to strengthen will be made closer to the time.
As it stands, the Magpies have a lengthy absentee list, including £52m summer signing Sandro Tonali, key defender Sven Botman and top goalscorer Callum Wilson.
"Certainly we're going to have to be reactive I think because we've got injuries in different areas of the squad, there's not necessarily one area, there's a few areas," said Howe. "I think that'll be a decision made towards the window opening, rather than now. To sort of form any plans now would be a mistake.
“I really don’t know what will happen to be honest. It’s hard to make any kind of decision as I sit here now because the squad could look very different by January 1. The squad could look a lot stronger. I say ‘could’ because we don’t know what’s going to happen in the next few weeks.
"In general, I’m against making short-term decisions unless we absolutely have to.
"Last January, we invested in Anthony Gordon, who we really believed could be a top talent here for many, many years. He was the right personality at that time to improve the squad. I think they’re the types of signings that we want to be making.
"Sat here now, though, I’ve no idea whether we’ll be in a position to do that.”